The Edwin James Festival Orchestra offer concert of romantic classics for the New Year

The festival choir
The festival choir

The Edwin James Festival Orchestra will be getting 2019 off to a great start with a romantic New Year concert on the theme Love Story.

The concert will be held at St James Church Community Hub in East Ham Road, Littlehampton on Saturday, January 19 with doors opening at 2.15pm for a 3pm start.

Spokesman James Rushman, musical director for both the Edwin James Festival Choir and Orchestra, said: “Last year we celebrated our 20th anniversary with a very busy concert and event schedule, all of which were extremely well attended enabling us to add to the donations we give to local charities as well as swell funds for purchase of new music. This year we are hoping we will again see lots of our stalwart supporters in our audiences as well as attracting new enthusiasts to listen to the varied genres of music we perform spanning classical through to modern.

“With the start of a new year and Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we thought the theme Love Story would be a great way to introduce the talent that abounds in the orchestra. “Probably the most well- known New Year’s Concert is that performed in Vienna featuring Strauss, so what could be more fitting than for us to do the same. However, there will be many other recognisable pieces in the concert including selections from My Fair Lady, Phantom of the Opera, Me and My Girl and many more well-known musicals.

“Over the years since the choir and orchestra was formed, we have raised over £140,000 for local charities and good causes. The proceeds of this concert will be in support of our three main charities, St Barnabas House Hospice, Chestnut Tree House and St Wilfred’s Hospice.”

Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £4 for children, available from the box office on 01243 582330 or at the door on the evening. Refreshments will be available during the interval.

Rehearsals have already begun at St James Church Hall for Their Scarves Were Red.

James explains: “This is a musical written by Darren Villier and is a thought-provoking and moving tribute to those who died in the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, when 96 people lost their lives in a human crush during the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

“The concert is scheduled to be performed on April 12 and 13. We welcome new members so the first rehearsal is an ideal opportunity to come along and find out more about us and discover how friendly we are. Our Good Friday concert will be performed by both choir and orchestra who, this year, will be doing something very different by holding a scratch performance of Faure’s Requiem. There will be a rehearsal in the morning, a further rehearsal with the orchestra in the afternoon before performing the work in the evening.”

Admission to the concert will be free. Further details can be found on the choir website

The Edwin James Festival Choir continue to support James Rushman and Chris Allen in running the church and its adjoining hall as a community hub with coffee mornings every Friday. Bookings are welcomed from various local clubs and groups, as well as individuals for birthday parties, celebrations and even band rehearsals and can be made by telephoning 01243 582330.

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